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Indicator 6 : Teen pregnancy
Goal: Families will provide a stable, supportive environment for their children. Supportive and nurturing relationships promote children's emotional security, social development and academic achievement.
Rationale: Teenage mothers, many of whom are single, face difficulties in providing a stable, supportive environment for their children.Teen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, total
Data source: Minnesota Department of HealthTeen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, American Indian
Data source: Minnesota Department of HealthTeen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, Asian or Pacific Islander
Data source: Minnesota Department of HealthTeen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, Black/ African American
Data source: Minnesota Department of HealthTeen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, Hispanic
Data source: Minnesota Department of HealthTeen pregnancy rate per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17, White
Data source: Minnesota Department of Health
About this indicator: Minnesota's teen pregnancy rate declined steadily in the 1990s, from 33.6 per 1,000 in 1990 to 21.9 per 1,000 in 2000. The number of teen pregnancies for girls age 15-17 is calculated by combining the reported number of births, abortions and fetal deaths to mothers in this age group. Children born to teenage mothers are at higher risk for poor neonatal care, low birth weight and infant mortality. Teenage mothers can find it difficult to support a child. Only about half complete high school, limiting future job prospects. There is a high rate of welfare participation among the group.
Rates of teenage pregnancy vary greatly by race and ethnicity. In 2000, the rate per 1,000 girls age 15 to 17 ranged from 102.7 for African Americans to 15.0 for Whites. For Hispanics the rate was 88.6, for American Indians 75.9 and for Asian/Pacific Islanders 59.2. Since 1992 the rate of teen pregnancies in Minnesota has decreased in the White, American Indian and Black/African American populations, but increased among Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic teens. It has dropped most dramatically in the Black/African American population, from 169.71 in 1992 to 102.7 in 2000.
The Minnesota Department of Health had a goal of reducing the overall state rate to 26.9 by 2004. This has been met and surpassed by 1997.
For comparison: Teenage pregnancy rates in Minnesota are significantly below the national rate. In 1997, the U.S. pregnancy rate for this age group was 63.7 compared with 26.3 in Minnesota. However, the decline in Minnesota mirrors a national trend. The national rate is the lowest since consistent recording began in 1976.
Things to think about: Several factors likely contribute to the falling teenage pregnancy rates. According to several national surveys, teenage sexual activity has declined, possibly reflecting public efforts to focus teenagers' attention on pregnancy prevention through abstinence. Also important is increased use of contraceptives. Experts also believe that better economic prospects tend to give teenagers a reason to value education more highly and postpone early pregnancy and parenthood.
Technical notes: Data by race and ethnicity is based on a three-year average. County information is provided in three-year averages.
Related data trends:
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